25 Names of Fabrics, Wools, and Leathers Derived from Place Names
This post lists and defines terms for apparel materials that have in common that the terms are derived from place names.
1. angora: a type of wool from Angora rabbits, which originated near Ankara (previously Angora), Turkey
2. Bedford cord: a corduroy-like fabric, named after Bedford, England, or New Bedford, Massachusetts
3. calico: a type of cloth originally from Calicut, India
4. cambric: a type of cloth originally from Cambrai, France
5. cashmere: a type of wool and a woolen fabric from Kashmir goats, which come from the Kashmir region of India
6. chino cloth: a cloth originating in China (the name is Spanish for “Chinese”)
7. Cordovan leather: a type of shoe leather first produced in Cordoba, Spain
8. damask: a type of fabric named after Damascus, Syria
9. denim: a type of fabric originally called serge de Nîmes, or “serge of Nîmes,” after Nîmes, a town in France
10. dungaree: a type of denim cloth originating in Dongrī, India; pants or overalls made from this fabric are called dungarees
11. duffel: a cloth first made in Duffel, Belgium
12. Harris tweed: a type of handwoven tweed cloth originating on the island of Lewis and Harris and adjacent islands in Scotland (the name of the cloth type tweed is coincidental with the name of the river Tweed)
13. Holland (or Holland cloth): a type of linen originally made in various parts of Europe, including the province of Holland in the Netherlands
14. jaconet: a fabric originally from Puri, India (the word is derived from the name of the city’s Jagannath Temple)
15. jean: a type of fabric originating in Genoa, Italy
16. jersey: a type of knit fabric originating on the island of Jersey, next to France (but a dependency of the United Kingdom)
17. Mackinaw cloth: a woolen cloth used for thick, warm jackets (called Mackinaws or Macs) originally favored by lumberjacks and then hunters and fishermen in the Mackinac (or Mackinaw) region of Michigan
18. madras: a lightweight cloth originally from Madras, India (now called Chennai)
19. muslin: a lightweight fabric originally from Mosul, Iraq
20. Morocco leather: a type of leather originally from Moroccan goats
21. nankeen: a type of fabric originating in Nanjing, China (previously called Nanking or Nankin); also refers to pants made of this material, as well as the pale buff or yellow color of the fabric, a type of porcelain originating in the city, and a type of lace (often called nankins) and part of the name of numerous animals and plants featuring this color
22. osnaburg: a coarse cloth originally made in Osnabrück, Germany
23. suede: a type of leather made from the underside of animal skins, originally referenced in the French phrase gants de Suède (“gloves from Sweden”); similar-looking fabrics are referred to as “sueded silk” and so on
24. tulle: a type of fabric originating in Tulle, France
25. worsted: a type of wool whose name is derived from that of Worstead, one of the villages from which it originated; also, the name of a type of yarn and a category of yarn weight
Want to improve your English in 5 minutes a day? Click here to subscribe and start receiving our writing tips and exercises via email every day.
Recommended Articles for You
Subscribe to Receive our Articles and Exercises via Email
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our exercise archives, writing courses, writing jobs and much more!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!